Examining Increased Hospitalizations from Heat-Related Illnesses in Urban Heat Islands: A Case Study of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Authors: Macy Turner*, Kutztown University, Michael Davis, Kutztown University, Mario Cardozo, Kutztown University
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Urban Geography, Health and Medical
Keywords: UHI, urban heat islands, Philadelphia
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 52
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban heat islands are a largely detrimental climatology feature in urban environments that enhance the effects of climate change. Global warming has generally caused these heat islands to become more oppressive as urban temperatures warm. This phenomenon, coupled with the increasing likelihood of persistent heat waves, can negatively impact human health and various socioeconomic properties of a neighborhood or city. This study focuses on health effects and the multitude of scientific literature available supports the continued deterioration of health in many of the city’s population; often times low income or communities of color. Additionally, studies have linked increasing temperature trends to an increase in emergency room hospitalizations, premature births, and other negative health problems. By using thermal imaging of the city of Philadelphia, this study aims to identify trends in the urban heat island within a major American city and discuss the vulnerabilities of individual communities to the changing urban environment.

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